Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment and state BJP President Vijay Sampla left a district coordination meeting in Hoshiarpur in a huff after calling it off when the Deputy Commissioner (DC) who was supposed to convene the meeting chose to remain absent. It is learnt that the Deputy Commissioner, Vipul Ujjwal, was in town and had spoken to Sampla earlier in the morning regarding the meeting. However, yet he was not present when the Minister, who is also the Hoshiarpur MP, turned up to attend the meeting.
The District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee meeting was abruptly adjourned by Sampla when he found that the DC had chosen the go for the inauguration of an air-conditioning system rather than attend the meeting.
The DC is the member secretary of the committee and as a rule, it is he who convened the meeting.
Earlier, a meeting called on June 21 was also postponed as the DC expressed his inability to attend because of ongoing Punjab Assembly session. Meetings of the coordination committee should be held at least once in every quarter.
Attempts were made to speak to Vipul Ujjwal for his reaction on the Minister’s charges, but he did not take phone calls or respond to text message.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Sampla said that the action of the DC showed that he was indulging in “irresponsible behaviour”.
“Despite the fact that he had spoken to me regarding the meeting and fixed the date, he did not appear for it. Even the basic protocol to receive a Union Minister was not followed when I reached the district headquarters. Instead of the DC, there was only the Additional Deputy Commissioner who was present,” Sampla said.
He said the coordination committee was an important one and development works relating to the area were discussed in it. “I am told the DC was present in the city, but went for inauguration of an air conditioning plant at ‘Sanjhi Rasoi’. Clearly his priorities are not right,” said Sampla.